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The physical therapist assistant program leads to an associate in applied science degree and encompasses a two-year course of study. The program is designed to prepare technically educated health care providers who assist physical therapists in the provision of physical therapy. The physical therapist assistant performs treatment procedures that involve the therapeutic use of heat, cold, electromagnetic radiations, traction, compression, water, massage, ultrasound and therapeutic exercise, and assists the physical therapist with evaluative procedures.
The curriculum balances general educational and specialty courses and includes supervised clinicals at hospitals and private clinics. These combined experiences provide students with an opportunity for educational development as well as occupational competence. Licensure of physical therapist assistants is required in the State of Texas and graduates are eligible to take the licensure examination after meeting the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners’ requirements.
Because clinical space is limited, students are admitted selectively. In order to be considered for admission to the PTA Program, students must:
- Be a high school graduate or have earned a GED
- Complete the requirements for the college’s Success Initiative Plan, which usually include passing scores on the COMPASS or the THEA exam, unless an exemption has been earned
- Submit an Application for Admission to Health Care Programs
- Submit official transcripts from all other colleges or universities attended.
- Complete the Health Occupations Basic Entrance Test Version V (HOBET V)
- Have good character references
- Complete forty (40) hours of observation / volunteer / work hours in a physical therapy facility
Acceptance into the program is determined by a point system based on:
- Admission exam score (HOBET V)
- Academic record (number of general education classes completed and anatomy and physiology grades)
- Interview (selection for interview is based on preliminary point totals)
- Writing sample completed at the time of the interview
BIOL 2401 & BIOL 2402 must be completed within the last five years. While, BIOL 2401 & BIOL 2402 are not prerequisites for application to the program, acceptance without credit for these courses is provisional; the student must complete both courses with a minimum grade of C before the PTA Program begins in the fall semester in order to take his/her place in the class. After being accepted, students must achieve a grade of “C” in all physical therapist assistant courses. An average of “C” or better must be maintained in all other courses. Students failing to meet these scholastic requirements will be dropped from the program.
Students accepted into the program must comply with all school and physical therapist assistant program policies. Program policies are delineated in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program Student Handbook. Liability insurance is required and is part of the college fee schedule. Students must pass a physical examination and urine drug screen in order to participate in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Health and accident insurance must be maintained throughout the program; current CPR certification (Healthcare Provider) must be maintained throughout all clinicals; and proof of required immunizations must be on file before students will be allowed to participate in clinicals. After admission to the program, new students will authorize the college to conduct a criminal background check. This procedure is required for students to go to the various hospitals and agencies for clinical education. If the background check is positive for certain offenses, the student will not be able to participate in clinical education and, therefore, will not be able to complete program requirements and will be dismissed from the program.
The physical therapist assistant program at Odessa College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The Commission may be contacted at:
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education,
Department of Accreditation, American Physical Therapy Association
1111 N. Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA 22314